Last week, GO Chat closed out our celebration of National Distance Learning Week by welcoming Yvette Mozie-Ross, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Planning, and Beth Jones, Associate Vice Provost for the Division of Professional Studies in the Office of Summer, Winter & Special Programs, as our guests to discuss the future of online learning at UMBC.
We discussed some recent articles that have been on our mind:
- Inside Higher Ed, Disruption is the Enemy of Learning. Recognizing that the pandemic is not the only disruption that faculty and students encounter, everyone is looking for consistency and flexibility.
- Inside Higher Ed, Moving into the Long Term. By the end of Spring 2021 most students will have spent an entire year learning online, and they continue to crave spaces to build relationships with each other and their instructors.
- Inside Higher Ed, 4 Reasons Why Every Course Should Be Designed as an Online Course. While face-to-face teaching is likely to still be a part of the future, the principles of online course design can (and some say should) remain in place. The principles of course design that offer students resiliency and extensibility are true for all courses, regardless of modality.
UMBC's online presence has shifted greatly this year, as Beth started our conversation. Fifteen years ago, a partnership between the Division of Information Technology, the Faculty Development Center, and the Office of Summer, Winter, & Special Programs launched the Alternate Delivery Program (ADP). This program leverages the Quality Matters framework to support summer and winter session faculty who redesign face-to-face courses for online or hybrid delivery. While students are still interested in face-to-face courses, there has been a steady increase in online course offerings during Winter and Summer sessions, and a steady decrease in face-to-face course offerings during the same terms.
Reflecting on initiatives from this semester, Yvette offered exciting results from the newly established Finish Line program that encourages former UMBC students, who left prior to COVID, to return and complete their degree by re-enrolling in online courses. More than 120 students targeted for the campaign did just that in Fall 2020. Several Finish Line participants shared that online learning suited their own personal learning style or offered more flexibility in their schedules to take classes and get one step closer to completing a degree.
Our next GO Chat takes place on Friday, December 4, and will be our final GO Chat for 2020! Our topic for conversation is shifting super-sized courses from face-to-face to online delivery. We will be joined by Dr. Sarah Bass, Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Dr. Tara Carpenter, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. We hope you will join us!
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